35 years after its debut, in London, Ontario, the Luminato Festival presents Apocalypsis, the epic musical voyage written by acclaimed Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer.
The Luminato production marks the first time Apocalypsis will be performed in full since its world premiere in 1980.
The musical epic is based on the Book of Revelation, and is said to be Schafer’s most ambitious work.
Apocalypsis features over 1,000 performers, including Tony Award winner Brent Carver.
Carver, a Stratford Festival favourite, plays the Antichrist.
The lead role, John, will be split into two.
Laurie Anderson voices the role of John.
Denise Fujiwara dances the part.
Throat-singer Tanya Tagaq plays the role of the old woman.
Nina Arsenault, Toronto’s transgender performance artist, portrays the Whore of Babylon.
Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio directs and designs.
Ponifasio and Arsenault work together at MAU, a New Zealand ensemble of community and artists from New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
In 2014 Luminato presented Ponifasio’s powerful Stones in Her Mouth.
Musical Director David Fallis conducts close to 20 other conductors on stage, leading musicians and performers from across Ontario.
Apocalypsis is split into 2 parts, with the first act alone featuring 5 choruses, 6 instrumental ensembles, 8 soloists, and 25 dancers.
More than a dozen choirs comprise the cast, including Kitchener’s Grand Philharmonic Choir, Waterloo’s Da Capo Chamber Choir, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
When Apocalypsis premiered at London’s Centennial Hall, Toronto critic William Littler called it “one of the most spectacular events in the history of Canadian music.”
See Apocalypsis from June 26-28, at the Sony Centre. Details & Tickets.
Hashtag: #Luminato; #Apocalypsis
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by Keith Tomasek
with assistance from Emily Stewart